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The Daily: Canadiens Chase KHL Standout; Maatta Helps Finland

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Maxim tsyplakov, KHL

Montreal Hockey Now writes that the Montreal Canadiens are trying to sign Russian free agent Maxim Tsyplakov. It had been previously reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs had interest.  Other teams are showing interest. Respected hockey insider Elliotte Friedman originally reported the Habs talked to Tsyplakov.

Tsyplakov, 25, scored 31 goals playing for Moscow Spartak in the Kontinental Hockey League. He’s 6-foot-2, 190 pounds.

“His 47 points were good enough for 22nd overall in league scoring,” Montreal’s Marc Dumont writes. “Though it’s worth noting there’s been a clear exodus in talent in the KHL in recent seasons, which does cast some doubts as to his overall offensive prowess.”

Success in the KHL isn’t a guarantee of NHL success.  In 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights signed Vadim Shipashev believing they were getting a potential impact player. He was third in the 2016-17 scoring race with 26 goals and 50 assists for 76 points in  50 games. He was only two points behind Ilya Kovalchuk who had returned to Russia after being an NHL star.

But by the end of October the following season, it was clear it was not going to work out. The Golden Knights terminated his contract to allow him to return to the KHL.

There isn’t much risk for the Canadiens or other NHL teams to sign KHL free agents. You don’t spend a draft pick or give up assets to sign a KHL free agent. If the player doesn’t work out, you are only out the cost of entry level deal.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

The Germans roughed up Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond at the World Championships in Czechia. The Swedes downed Germany 6-1.

The next playoff round will test the  Grand Rapids Griffins. The Milwaukee Admirals won the last three games to down the Texas Stars in the best-of-five series.

Paywall story: Red Wings prospect defenseman Shai Buium joins the organization with a winner’s mentality. Griffins coach Dan Watson sees it in the way he practices. To subscribe, click here.  To receive a $10 discount on a yearly subscription, use the promo kevin10.

Red Wings Offseason

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Olli Maatta is off to a good start with Finland at the World Championships. Maatta has a goal, an assist and owns a plus-3 plus minus. Finland is 2-0-1. Maatta is an alternate captain. He logged 19:22 of ice time in Finland’s most recent 4-1 against Norway.

Hockey Now Network

Colorado: Avalanche players were shocked to hear that Valeri Nichushkin is going back in the NHL/NHLPA Players Assistance program for breaking the rules. But shocked or not, CHN’s Evan Rawal said the team’s performance level was unacceptable in Game 4. Colorado Avalanche. 

Florida: Sam Bennett is Public Enemy No. 1 in Boston, but he’s been the hero for coach Paul Maurice’s group. Florida Panthers.

Montreal: Why Martin St. Louis is the perfect fit as coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

Pittsburgh: The Penguins core group wants to stay together. PHN’s Dan Kingerski wonders why. This isn’t working. Pittsburgh Penguins.

San Jose: The San Jose Sharks need a top four defenseman, and Sheng Peng has some thoughts of who they might target for a signing or trade.